Waiting Game/Don’t Ignore

Clomid, take two.

And now we wait. Last month, I was nervous/excited/etc through the two week wait. This month, I’m dreading testing. In the old days (you know, pre-intervention), when I felt like this, I just didn’t test until a week or more after my expected period. Since I’m now taking progesterone, I won’t get my period until I stop the pills again, so I have no choice but to follow Dr. D’s instructions and test 14 days after ovulation. And no matter how much I brace myself for a negative result, it’s never easy. And despite the fact that I hope/pray/feel desperate for a positive, that’s not exactly a walk in the park either, given our history.

There were some positive signs this month. I got my first positive OPK ever and didn’t have to use Ovidrel to trigger. Dr. D identified two mature follicles. Our “timed intercourse” was pretty meticulous. There was at least a little bit of identifiable EWCM, despite Clomid’s ironically negative effects on such things. But you know as well as I do that it doesn’t matter how hard we try, how careful we are, how perfectly things seem to line up. In the end, it’s pass/fail. Effort doesn’t factor in.

So for now, I’m trying to perfect the art of expectation-less waiting.

Meanwhile, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week and this year’s theme is “Don’t Ignore.” As I started thinking about this idea, I realized that aside from J and one somewhat fickle friend who has a little bit of experience with infertility herself, I can’t think of a single person in my real life who doesn’t ignore our infertility and experience with recurrent pregnancy loss. They acknowledge it once (or a couple of times) and then, after that single exchange, it’s over for them. They switch gears with clever transitions like “On a brighter note….” and it’s like I never said anything.

I get that it’s awkward. I get that you don’t know what to say. But just say something, anything, to let me know that you give a shit about the hell we’re living through. Because I don’t go through a single hour of my life (arguably, this involves hours spent sleeping too, based on my dreams lately) without thinking about getting pregnant. Or staying pregnant. Or whether we’ve explored all of the options available to us at the moment. Or whether we should be turning our focus toward adoption. Or whether, if I have another miscarriage, I’ll have a D&C instead of opting for another natural miscarriage. Or how old our baby would be now, if I hadn’t had that first miscarriage. Or what the chances are that those two miscarriages were just really, really shitty luck. I could go on like this for quite a long time. But you know what that list would look like, so I’ll spare you.

I find that when people repeatedly ignore what we’re going through, I feel pressure to ignore it in their presence as well. Not mention it. Keep things light. I know that’s what everyone prefers and honestly, I don’t want to give you another chance to disappoint me with your lack of care/concern/understanding. So I often keep quiet. And I don’t feel great about that, but it’s a form of self preservation to avoid comments like “you need to focus on other things” or “are you still upset about that last miscarriage?” or “cheer up” or “kids aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, you know.” In our journey so far, self preservation has been key. In case you’re wondering what would have made it different (or could make it different in the future), I leave you with a list.

Things I wish people understood and didn’t feel the need to ignore:

  • This is huge. It’s not some little issue to get over. It’s our future, our family, the life I’ve been waiting for as long as I can remember.
  • I’m allowed to be angry, so don’t tell me not to be. You’d be angry too.
  • It’s painful to be around pregnant women and babies. I know I have to do it sometimes, but you should understand that it often takes superhuman strength.
  • I’m not unreasonably mean if I don’t enjoy those 8-pictures-of-my-new-baby-collage christmas cards.
  • I’m totally overwhelmed by the ballsy-ness and hyper-confidence that people exhibit when they post photos of their positive HPTs on Facebook as soon as they get them (nevermind that this is just totally uncouth).
  • I never stop thinking about IF and RPL.
  • I am not at all the same as I was before. Please don’t expect me to be.


Filed under Future, Infertility, Miscarriage, RPL

4 responses to “Waiting Game/Don’t Ignore

  1. CC

    I just wanted to thank you for writing this. I have had 3 miscarriages in the past year and I find myself feeling more and more alone as time drags on. I feel all of these feelings you described, and it seems like no one understands or accepts that I feel this way. I wanted to tell you that I understand, and I am so very sorry for your losses. I am sorry that you have to go through this daily struggle, and I truly hope that you can have the familiy that you have worked so hard to try to create. Best wishes to you.

    • CC,

      Thank you for your kind note and my apologies for the months-later response. I was taking a break from this blog for a while and am just now catching up. It does help to know that there are people out there who understand, though I am certainly sorry that so many of us have lived through this. I am so very sorry for your losses and sincerely hope that the year to come will be better.

      All the best,

  2. Erin

    I have had 5 losses and am currently 16 weeks pregnant. I totally understand the anger and frustration. I am NOT the person I was before. I changed after the 4th miscarriage. I choose not to be around pregnant women and I don’t feel bad. I lash out at others that minimalize how I am feeling and I don’t feel bad. I’ve quit talking to friends that don’t understand and I don’t feel bad. I’m easily agitated, I keep to myself, I’m completely utterly petrified and I don’t apologize for it. I hope and pray I make it to April mostly because this is the dream I’ve prayed for but also hoping for part of me back.

    • Erin –

      I am so sorry for what you’ve been through. And I do think it’s totally inevitable to come out of this kind of misery and fear as different people; friends and family should understand this, but I’ve found that many of them just can’t or don’t or can’t be bothered to try.

      I am also praying to make it to April. I wish you all the best in your pregnancy and hope that this is your chance to realize your dream.


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